Broadcasters supporting the Phoenix, Arizona Model Market project for NEXTGEN TV along with broadcaster group Pearl TV have begun initial testing of NEXTGEN TV over limited cable infrastructure, through a cooperative effort with Comcast.
NEXTGEN TV is utilising ATSC 3.0, the technology now being deployed across the US that is designed to merge over-the-air with over-the top TV content.
The Phoenix Model Market Partners are now working closely with Comcast in Portland, Oregon to explore how to deliver NEXTGEN TV services to Comcast’s infrastructure in an effort that will require significant technical collaboration. Its proponents suggest this work could give the industry a foundation for a ‘real world’ technical example of how to transmit ATSC 3.0 over hybrid fibre-coaxial infrastructure.
“While the Phoenix Model Market continues to expand its testing capability, we will be working together with industry leader Comcast to test out compatibility between both the current cable and future broadcast architecture in the Portland market,” explained Anne Schelle, Managing Director of Pearl TV, which is also managing the Phoenix Model Market implementation. “We want to ensure that our viewers over cable can enjoy the enhanced video and audio experience that NEXTGEN TV plans to offer. Seven local broadcasters are now on the air with NEXTGEN TV in Portland, so it makes sense to work with a major operator in the area like Comcast to determine what’s needed to distribute this new capability to cable customers.”
“We’re excited to participate in this important work to advance NEXTGEN TV using the new features of ATSC’s 3.0 set of standards,” added Jerry Parkins, Sr. Director of Digital Technology and Standards for Comcast. “While it is still very early in the process, this short-term integration effort will provide broadcast partners, manufacturers, and our technical groups valuable insights into the performance of the technology. We are currently exercising our links with the broadcast ATSC 3.0 over-the-air transmission signal, as well as adding more fibre link resources to our local headend as an important first step.”
The initial stages in the collaboration will develop the technical capability to pass along NEXTGEN TV’s 4K Ultra HD content through cable and eventually to enable further features such as High Dynamic Range (HDR10), Wide Color Gamut and the ATSC 3.0 standard’s advanced immersive audio capabilities.
In July 2020, seven leading local television stations in Portland, including KATU (ABC), KOIN (CBS), KGW (NBC), KPTV (Fox), KOPB-TV (PBS), KRCW-TV (CW) and KPDX (MyNet), became among the first in the nation to begin broadcasting with NEXTGEN TV.